Shot intended for wayward cow fells Va farmer

Shot intended for wayward cow fells Va farmer

This is a discussion on Shot intended for wayward cow fells Va farmer within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com Shot intended for wayward cow fells Va farmer Advertisement FLOYD, Va. (AP) -- A Floyd County animal control officer who said he ...

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Thread: Shot intended for wayward cow fells Va farmer

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Shot intended for wayward cow fells Va farmer

    HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

    Shot intended for wayward cow fells Va farmer
    Advertisement

    FLOYD, Va. (AP) -- A Floyd County animal control officer who said he intended to shoot a wayward cow is on trial for killing a farmer instead.

    Jurors could begin deliberations Wednesday in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Garland Nester, who is accused in the May 29 killing of 75-year-old Paul Belcher near Meadows of Dan.

    Belcher was assisting Nester round up the 850-pound animal when he was fatally shot by the 45-year-old defendant.

    Defense attorney David Damico said Belcher's death was the result of a bullet ricocheting off the cow's right foreleg.

    But prosecutor Clifford Hapgood said Nester shot at the cow in anger after he had chased the animal for an hour. He said Nester was negligent and "needs to be punished."

    ---

    Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond Times Dispatch News, Sports, and Business | Richmond Times-Dispatch
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  2. #2
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    I wonder where in relation to the cow the farmer was standing when the shot was fired? Also, who can't hit a cow someplace better, more deadly than the foreleg?
    Last edited by sigmanluke; February 25th, 2009 at 11:39 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    Anger happens, I don't know that that in and of itself makes it negligent. I've wanted to shoot a horse or two of mine after chasing them for an hour.
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

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    Defense attorney David Damico said Belcher's death was the result of a bullet ricocheting off the cow's right foreleg.
    Doesn't matter if it was a ricochet or not, he was negligent in his shooting. Know what your shooting at and what is around your intended target. Plus use the right tool for the job. Although the store doesn't say, I would guess he was trying to put the cow down with his handgun. Poor choice of tools if he were.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    Plus use the right tool for the job. Although the store doesn't say, I would guess he was trying to put the cow down with his handgun. Poor choice of tools if he were.
    Not sure how much you've hung around farming, but that is the most common tool for this job. Using a .22 and drawing an X between the eyes and ears shows the spot.
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerinWstuff View Post
    Not sure how much you've hung around farming, but that is the most common tool for this job. Using a .22 and drawing an X between the eyes and ears shows the spot.
    That;s how I do it with pigs, .22 lr right between the eyes
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    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmanluke View Post
    ... Also, who can't hit a cow someplace better, more deadly than the foreleg?
    He was following the liberal doctrine, shoot to wound.
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    Holy cow!
    And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

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    I'm aware of the bullet between the eyes, but were not talking a animal that is penned up and you have a clear shot on. This animal was running loose. If he hit it in the leg, I'm pretty sure he was not trying to shoot it between the eyes.

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    I'm aware of the bullet between the eyes, but were not talking a animal that is penned up and you have a clear shot on. This animal was running loose. If he hit it in the leg, I'm pretty sure he was not trying to shoot it between the eyes.
    And where do you come up with these assumptions? First you assumed he was trying to put the animal down even though the article did not say. Now you are extending that assumption to how clear is shot was or wasn't?
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

    Who is John Galt?

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    I guess what I'm trying to say is; if we are going to run around making assumptions, then lets give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Lets go ahead and assume that there was a highway nearby and the cow was becoming a danger to the public if this guy didn't attempt to put it down? Farmers don't just decide that their livestock should be culled for no good reason. It buggs me when people don't put the shoe on the other foot or walk a mile in someone elses shoes. Whichever metaphore you want to choose. Why must we condemn the guy without getting all the facts first?
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

    Who is John Galt?

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Here's a more in depth article with a few more details as testimony begins.
    Published: February 24, 2009

    11:59 P.m.

    By Rex Bowman
    Richmond Times-Dispatch

    Floyd County animal-control officer Garland Nester went to kill an errant cow but shot a farmer instead. A jury could begin deliberating as early as today whether Nester should be punished for the farmer’s death.

    Yesterday, on the first day of Nester’s involuntary-manslaughter trial in Floyd Circuit Court, special prosecutor Clifford Hapgood told jurors that Nester’s use of a firearm during the May 29 incident near Meadows of Dan showed gross negligence and callous disregard for the safety of others, leading to the death of 75-year-old Paul Belcher.

    Belcher had parked his pickup truck on the side of the road to help Nester get a roughly 850-pound cow back into its pasture. The cow belonged to Nester, who rented grazing land in the pasture next to Belcher’s farm. Belcher was shot after taking a few steps from his truck, according to evidence presented yesterday.

    “I heard these shots, then Paul screamed, ‘Oh, I’ve been shot,‘“ recalled his widow, Jean Belcher, from the witness box. By the time she reached her wounded husband, his life was ebbing away. He had been shot in the abdomen.

    “On this one particular day, this animal-control officer was not only not controlling animals, he was not controlling himself,“ Hapgood said.

    “This death needs to be punished.“

    Defense attorney David Damico of Roanoke suggested to jurors that Belcher’s death was a tragic accident, the apparent result of a bullet ricocheting off the cow’s right foreleg. Nester, he said, never saw Belcher, who was up on the raised roadway, Conner Grove Road, 190 feet from Nester and not in Nester’s line of sight.

    “There was no way for Mr. Nester to know Mr. Belcher was there,“ Damico said.

    However, Amy Tharp, assistant chief medical examiner for Western Virginia, testified that the wound to Belcher’s abdomen did not appear to come from a ricocheting bullet because it apparently entered his body in a tight spiral. If it had ricocheted, said Tharp, the bullet would have wobbled, just as a quarterback’s pass does after a defensive lineman deflects it.

    Hapgood had hoped to show jurors that Nester, 45, was so angry after spending nearly an hour chasing the cow through a swamp, a copse and along the Blue Ridge Parkway that he lost his cool, pulled out his .357-caliber semi-automatic pistol and fired four shots with little thought. His son, Travis, stood nearby.

    Judge Ray Grubbs refused to allow testimony about Nester’s anger because it was hearsay evidence: Travis had told Belcher’s brother and a high school teacher that his father was furious when he started firing at the cow. Grubbs would not allow Belcher’s brother or the teacher to discuss the son’s comment during their testimony.

    Hapgood is to resume putting on his case Wednesday. Damico has not said whether he will put Nester on the stand. The jury would get the case after closing arguments. Nester also faces a charge of reckless handling of a firearm.
    If this part is accurate:
    Defense attorney David Damico of Roanoke suggested to jurors that Belcher’s death was a tragic accident, the apparent result of a bullet ricocheting off the cow’s right foreleg. Nester, he said, never saw Belcher, who was up on the raised roadway, Conner Grove Road, 190 feet from Nester and not in Nester’s line of sight.
    I believe this may be just a tragic accident. I don't buy the medical examiner's opinion about the bullet "wobbling" if the 190 ft. distance is correct. I've seen bullets do some strange things and if the bullet was essentially still intact after the initial impact, 63+ yards may very well be enough distance for the bullet's rotation to re-establish stability. Heck, according to the Warren Report, bullets can make multiple U-turns. Bad thing to have to live with for all, regardless of the circumstances.

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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Here's a brief update:

    Closing arguments coming in Animal Control Officer shooting trial | WSLS 10


    By Ashley Roberts
    WSLS10 Reporter
    Published: February 25, 2009

    11:46 a.m.

    The judge denied the defense attorney’s motion to strike the Commonwealth Attorney’s evidence.

    After another break, the defense did not present a case.

    Closing arguments are set to begin after a lunch break. Then the case will go to the jury.

    ———-

    10:30 a.m.

    By Ashley Roberts, at the courthouse
    WSLS Reporter
    aroberts@wsls.com

    Day two of the trial of a former Floyd County Animal Control Officer, charged in the shooting death of a man began with the prosecution calling only one witness: The special agent with State Police who interviewed Garland Nester the night of the shooting.

    The agent told the court that Nester told him everything that happened, including that Nester fired a fourth shot at a cow, but hit Paul Belcher instead.

    The agent testified that Nester was crying during the interview. Also, Nester also told that agent that he was putting the cow down because it had already escaped once earlier that week, as well as earlier that day. Nester told the agent that he was afraid the cow would get in the road and hurt a driver.

    Nester’s defense attorney plans to enter a motion to strike the Commonwealth’s evidence after a morning break. That would essentially throw the case out if the judge agrees.
    ETA: Hoss found a better article while I was cut & pasting.
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array AllAmerican's Avatar
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    Man... thats just a crappy thing to happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerinWstuff View Post
    And where do you come up with these assumptions? First you assumed he was trying to put the animal down even though the article did not say. Now you are extending that assumption to how clear is shot was or wasn't?
    Well if your shooting an animal, a natural assumption is your trying to put it down. I never said anything as to whether he did or didn't have a clear shot.

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